President of Howard University Resigns

The longtime academic suddenly steps down. 

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Sidney Ribeau and guest at the 2013 BET Honors (Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

(The Root) -- Howard University President Sidney Ribeau is stepping down, expected to officially leave his post at the end of this year. 

The news, which broke Tuesday afternoon, came as a shock, even as the university has struggled recently. 

Howard alumnus Wayne Frederick, 42, has been named interim president. In 2012, when Frederick was named provost of the university, Ribeau lauded his accomplishments. "A trusted leader, a revered expert in his field and a champion in his community, Dr. Frederick embodies Howard's unwavering pursuit of 'Truth and Service.' With his appointment, we reaffirm our commitment to the vision of a university prominent in research and education across all disciplines," Ribeau said.

Ribeau was the 16th president of Howard and the sixth African American to serve in that post. He came to Howard in 2008 from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he was president for 13 years. His long career in academics began in 1976, when he taught communication studies at California State University Los Angeles. He was educated at Wayne State University and the University of Illinois.

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